Aubrey and Josh had a perfect marriage so Aubrey thought. In love since they were kids, they knew each other better than two people could. So when JosAubrey and Josh had a perfect marriage so Aubrey thought. In love since they were kids, they knew each other better than two people could. So when Josh disappears, Aubrey's perfect world is shattered. Without a body, Aubrey gets no closure that Josh is really dead. If he isn't dead, why hasn't he come back to her? Doesn't he love her as much as she loved him?
I love reading thrillers and No One Knows is one of my favorite thrillers of 2016. Right up there with The Girl on the Train, The Gates of Evangeline and Gone Girl, No One Knows is a thriller that kept me guessing to the very end. Author J.T. Ellison does a fantastic job developing Aubrey and Josh's story. I felt her pain as she mourned the loss of her husband, the rock and support she needed ever since she was an troubled kid. The "what if's", the doubt and the heartbreak of not knowing what happened to him. Everyone is telling her he's gone and never coming back, but she just doesn't believe it.
I enjoyed Ellison's writing, the characters and plot were complex, I never knew quite who's side the people in Aubrey's life were on. Josh's mom pushing for his life insurance benefits. The reporter trying to figure out what happened to Josh. The cops who arrested Aubrey and suspected her of his murder. Josh's best friend telling her to let it go. I really could not put this book down until I got to the ending that spooked me and kept me up at night.
I think thrillers like No One Knows make great book club selections. Participants can talk about the clues, whether they saw the ending coming, what were the true intentions of the characters and what they would do in the characters' position. There isn't too much I can say about this book without giving spoilers, all I can say is if you like thrillers, read it! This review was originally posted on Mom's Small Victories...more
Note: I received this book for free from the authors in exchange for an honest review.
This book was hilarious! I flew through it and kept laughing outNote: I received this book for free from the authors in exchange for an honest review.
This book was hilarious! I flew through it and kept laughing out loud when I should have been sleeping. I just had to share some of these tweets with hubby and he cracked up too. Every parent can relate to these tweets, the more kids you have, the more overwhelmed you might feel, the funnier this books gets. A great gift idea for new parents and those who've been around the block. Highly recommended when you'd rather laugh than cry from the trials of parenthood, chances are one of these parents have been through it and tweeted about it!
Oh, l’amour! I devoured this book all in one day. A love story between an American divorcee and the Frenchman she hadn't spoken to in 20 years. But thOh, l’amour! I devoured this book all in one day. A love story between an American divorcee and the Frenchman she hadn't spoken to in 20 years. But there is something intense and magical about their connection all those years ago. I was mesmerized and enchanted by this book, one that made me laugh out loud, swoon and remember the importance of passion. An enchanting modern fairytale with France as a perfect setting to finding true love.
A story about one family’s plight with grief and passion, love and loss, forgiveness and redemption, The Last Breath kept me intrigued until the veryA story about one family’s plight with grief and passion, love and loss, forgiveness and redemption, The Last Breath kept me intrigued until the very last word, my first 5-star book of 2015! For my full review and giveaway (ending 3/3/15 11:00pm EST), head over to Mom's Small Victories...more
We had two Westies growing up and two Westies after I got married, so for Westie lovers like me, this book is adorable and captures the Westie curiosiWe had two Westies growing up and two Westies after I got married, so for Westie lovers like me, this book is adorable and captures the Westie curiosity very well. The illustrations are adorable and the story is simple and sweet. My kids and I love this book, probably more so because of the nostalgia of our pupps, Pebbles and Snowball....more
Story and Characters A wonderfully dramatic and poignant debut novel from Renita D'Silva. I was captivated by the characters and their plight. I was inStory and Characters A wonderfully dramatic and poignant debut novel from Renita D'Silva. I was captivated by the characters and their plight. I was intrigued by what deep secret could have torn the family apart. What caused Shirin so much grief that she was haunted by the Eyes that would follow her during her daydreams and nightmares? My heart broke for Shirin, she exiled herself to the UK but longed for her family in India but wondered if they could ever forgive her. I could empathize with young Reena, an only child in India, who stumbled on a photograph of this forgotten woman and was determined to find out more about her. I simply could not put this book down and although I figured out the secret about half way through, I had to know what would happen and if the family could resolve their issues.
I enjoyed how the author switched from Shirin's to Reena's perspective as they both inched their way closer to the truth. I was so enthralled with the book that it did not feel like a 400 page book (which I only realized when writing the review). I look forward to future novels by this promising author.
Setting Ahhh, India, the country of my ancestry with vibrant colors, sweet tropical fruits and fragrant, melt in your mouth curries. I have only been once that I can remember, but the country, its sights, delicious food and loving, welcoming family has stayed with me. I have family from Bangalore, where Reena's story in India takes place.
Ms. D'Silva brought back delicious childhood memories of food my mom makes. I was drooling over just the mere thought of the wonderful aromas that Indian cooking produces. As diverse as India is with different regions speaking different languages and eating different foods, I was surprised to find some of our family's favorites described, idli with sambar (fat little white pancakes with lentil curry), masala dosa (Indian crepes stuffed with pan fried potato), bhel puri (crispy rice with a mint and sweet tamarind chutney, boiled potatoes, cilantro and tomatoes), and gulab jahmun (crispy, sugary doughnut holes floating in a sweet syrup). I have not learned to make these Indian favorites yet, looks like I will be hunting for some recipes and hounding my mom for hers.
Ms. D'Silva brought to light the struggle characters face upholding their culture's strong values or going with their heart. She demonstrated the emotional impact of characters who are torn between following through with an arranged marriage or falling in love with someone of their choosing (even if he was of a different religion or station in life). The story shows the political unrest between Catholic, Hindu and Muslim Indians and the social disparity between the poorest servants who, when lucky, become part of the well-to-do family for whom they care. Ms. D'Silva transported me back to India and I was sad to leave India, Shirin, Reena and their families when the book was over....more
My favorite of the Harry Potter series so far. Rowling does a great job of refreshing our memories from what happened in the last book or for any newcMy favorite of the Harry Potter series so far. Rowling does a great job of refreshing our memories from what happened in the last book or for any newcomers who may have picked up this book before reading the others. I enjoyed everything about this book and marveled at Rowling's creativity down to the littlest details and her world-building. I feel like I am in the story, living with the characters and wanting the heroes to succeed. I'd seen the movies before reading the books, and still the book had me on the edge of my seat....more
To Kill a Mockingbird is a capitvating story set during the 1960's in rural Alabama and follows a white single father and attorney, Atticus Finch, andTo Kill a Mockingbird is a capitvating story set during the 1960's in rural Alabama and follows a white single father and attorney, Atticus Finch, and his two children, daughter Scout and son Jim, through their childhood. Scout is a very inquisitive, tomboyish and adventurous young girl and relies on her older brother and father to keep her out of trouble. She and Jim have a goal to get their reclusive neighbor Boo Radley to emerge from his house in mischevious ways. Jim is a protective older brother and Atticus is a patient, level-headed attorney who takes a controversial case defending a black man accused of raping a young white woman. A black woman, Calpernia, serves the Finch family as a cook, housekeeper and caretaker. Although she is black during a time when blacks in the South are seen as beneath the whites, the Finch family cares for and respects her for her role in the household.
As the trial progresses and Scout hears of the white townfolk's opinion of the blacks, I am moved by her sweet innocence as she does not understand why Calpernia should be treated any differently, why she can't go to Calpernia's church without causing a scene and why a black man is accused of something he insists he didn't do. Ms. Lee accounts what daily discriminations blacks encountered and it's heartbreaking to know that just a short 50 years ago, people were treated in this way. Scout witnesses the bullying of blacks and continually and boldly questions the actions of the white townsfolk around her, breaking the conventional rules of how a young Southern white girl should dress and behave.
This book was an emotional journey through the 60's in the Deep South. I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook version that I listened to which was narrated by Academy-Award winning actress, Sissy Spacek. Her voice portrayal of all of the characters was believeable and endearing, which I think is hard for many audiobook narrators to achieve. I think listening to it actually enhanced my enjoyment of the book and brought Scout's voice to life.
Gone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy, a seemingly yuppie couple living in Manhattan who lose their jobs and move to the Missouri suburbs to care orGone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy, a seemingly yuppie couple living in Manhattan who lose their jobs and move to the Missouri suburbs to care or Nick's ailing parents. While they seem to complement each other initially (like Amy's type A personality NYC wealthy upbringing to Nick's more laid-back, popular guy, easy going mentality), their differences and struggling finances fuel their resentment to one another. Even their anniversaries are stressful as Amy sets up treasure hunts pointing Nick to locations of special memories for her but most of the time Nick can't even figure out the clues.
By their fifth anniversary, both of them are miserable and the love is gone. Amy vanishes after leaving the treausre hunt clues for their anniversary and making Nick breakfast. The house looks like a struggle took place, her blood was found and cleaned up in the kitchen and the living room is in disarray with furniture thrown about. What transpires is a media circus surrounding Nick who doesn't seem upset enough that his wife disappeared until he really becomes the prime suspect for her murder. Does he really want the woman found who makes him feel like a failure? Without her, it looks like he murdered her even though her body hasn't turned up.
This is the first book I have read by Ms. Flynn and it certainly warrants the rave reviews it's received so far. She gives a different view of marriage and what drives people to make the choices they do. What is a perfect marriage anyway, is there such a thing? Ms. Flynn also explores the parent-child relationship. Amy's parents have profited from her childhood and turned her into "amazing Amy" a line of best selling books. Amy, an only child, feels pressured to be amazing in everything she does, but that level of perfection and achieving parents high expectations gets tiresome. How does she deal with thse expectations? I never guessed what would transpire in this story, it was full of so many twists and turns and it's hard to write much without spoilers.
This was a suspenseful and quick read. The story and characters enthralledmans captivated me, I never knew what would happen next. I look forward to reading other stories by Ms. Flynn. Her style is much like Diane Chamberlain who is my favorite author. Very complex characters, testing the preconceived notions of right and wrong in a very twisted, suspenseful story.
Before the Storm tells the story of Andy Lockwood, a teen locked in a battle with autistic behavior caused by fetal alcohol syndrome. He is judged andBefore the Storm tells the story of Andy Lockwood, a teen locked in a battle with autistic behavior caused by fetal alcohol syndrome. He is judged and misunderstood by his peers. One night at a church lock-in, Andy becomes an unlikely hero that saves many lives when the church catches fire. In a twisted turn of events, the hero becomes the accuser and Andy's mother and sister rally around him to prove his innocence. But could Andy have done it and not understood what he was doing?
Diane Chamberlain has a talent for creating complex characters who endure the toughest of situations. While the reader falls in love with the Lockwood family and emphathizes with their predicament, I agonized along with his mother who wondered in the back of her mind... did Andy really do it?
I heard Diane Chamberlain's work being compared to that of Jodi Picoult. I found Picoult's book The House Rules to be very similar in plot to Before the Storm. While Picoult had me wondering about the main character's innocence to the very last page, I did not feel for him the way I felt for The Lockwood Family. While Picoult's work was very thorough and technical in her descriptions of the main character's life with Aspergers Syndrome, he was still a character on a page in a book. The family dynamics didn't move me. I didn't relate to the mother like I did to Chamberlain's "heroine". I skimmed parts to get through Picoult's book whereas I hung on each word written by Chamberlain.
Ms. Chamberlain weaves a tale like only she can. A story about the impact of fetal alcohol syndrome, love lost, empathy and the strength of the human spirit. Before the Storm has a sequel that I look forward to reading....more